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The laziest person often performs best

Innovations are not primarily about making things or the world better, but above all about making them simpler and saving our most precious commodity: time. And what do we do in our everyday (business) life? We waste it on the operational level. On the way to the next career level, to more salary, more sales, more profit, the motto is: work, work, work, or in the spirit of our Prussian history, “Discipline leads to success!” Ha. But aren’t we in the 19th century anymore and if excessive hard work is the recipe for success – why aren’t the hardest workers always the most successful?

The laziest pig in the world does everything right when it comes to efficiency

“That’s the laziest pig in the world!” a manager told me during an analysis day with a meaningful look in the direction of his colleague. He apparently liked to leave the office early in the afternoon and had an unusually high number of appointments away from home. For his colleagues, it looked as if he was taking it easy while they sat in the office until late at night and didn’t see much of their families. But when we analyzed his results, it became clear that he was delivering mercilessly and the best results of all – month after month. Achieving twice as much with half the effort

It has always been a great joy and motivation for me to achieve maximum success with little effort – for myself and for our customers. And I’m always looking for the right levers to achieve that. That’s why the analysis phase and supporting employees in their everyday work is so important. But what was the secret of our “lazy pig”, to be a little more specific? As is so often the case in life, the solution to the puzzle was as simple as it was complex: efficiency. Our “lazy pig” had the ability – consciously or unconsciously – to act according to clear principles, to use his resources and skills exactly where they produced maximum results. So deliver “on time” instead of constantly overexerting yourself – even if it might not be quite perfect.

What you can do to achieve a lot in a short amount of time:

Always focus on what you are doing and play to your strengths. If you like to pick up the phone, use that to get the spark going. If you prefer to convince people with clever texts, write emails or, even better, personal letters or handwritten Christmas cards. If you don’t like small talk, avoid casual, meaningless meetings and look for opportunities where there is a topic of discussion that interests you. The important thing is that there is no right or wrong. If you act according to your strengths, the desired results will come by themselves. If the results take a while to come, you may not have fully cultivated your strengths. As Erich Kästner said so beautifully: “There is nothing good unless you do it.” It’s no use spending 100 hours brooding on the computer or turning into a controlling and administration junkie just to come up with as many arguments as possible as to why something didn’t work. Try things out. Get in touch with people you want something from. In a positive sense (cross-link to the topic of networking). After all, that worked back in the disco. Only those who address people or topics and take action can really achieve something. Avoid being a person without full stops and commas and take a clear and unambiguous position. A well-mannered pause, a direct look or a calm smile is worth much more and has a greater impact than long monologues. It’s better to make clear statements. The world is complicated and complex enough that we love anyone who expresses themselves clearly, simply and understandably. Those who use clauses are reminiscent of empty people who upset rather than inspire. OK, some people won’t be enthusiastic about your clear statements, but at least you will be remembered as a person with a profile and character. I would say there are worse things.

Of course, in business it makes sense to consider different eventualities from the best case to the worst case. But once we have done that thoroughly, we should put these scenarios back in the drawer so that we can focus on our original plan A. The same thing that applies to comedians or speakers also applies to us business and high-performance activists: the most important thing is timing! A well-groomed “let it run now and then”, i.e. being able to wait, saves us useless work and many emerging problems often resolve themselves. Sometimes the best way to become a lucky pig is to lie lazily in the sun every now and then.

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